Better than baked beans

This is a family favourite that is super simple to make, not to mention dirt cheap and packed with protein.

They may look like plain old baked beans from a tin but there’s no comparison in taste. You’ll need a giant saucepan but this recipe will feed an army. If you haven’t got a huge pan just halve the quantities. The beans freeze really well so I always keep a few portions on ice to make a really fast meal when I’m in a hurry.


500g dried haricot beans
200g tomato puree
6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse the beans and soak them overnight in a large bowl.

Cover them well with water in a large soup pan and add the tomato puree, peeled garlic cloves and oil, then bring to a gentle boil.

Partially cover the pan with its lid and leave simmering for 4 hours but check regularly to be sure that the water hasn’t dried up. Don’t be alarmed by the foam! It’ll look a quite frothy for a while. Stir occasionally.

That’s all there is to it. Once the beans are soft the garlic will be very soft too and may have dissolved entirely into the dish. Add salt and pepper or chili flakes to taste.

My favourite serving suggestion is to stir a good portion of the beans into macaroni and serve with parmesan cheese or parsley on top. The beans are also great on toast or with crusty bread or a jacket potato.